Vilnius, 27 September 2023 – Lithuania has today become the 20th European country to completely ban fur farming, sparing around one million animals a year from miserable lives and cruel deaths on fur farms.
President Gitanas Nausėda signed the fur farming bill into law today after a large majority passed the measure in the Seimas. The law stipulates that the country’s remaining fur farms, around 40 mink farms and 30 chinchilla fur farms, must close by 2027.
The landmark decision comes after years of advocacy and public pressure from animal welfare organisations, activists, and concerned citizens, led by Fur Free Alliance member Tušti Narvai. Gabriele Vaitkevičiūtė, campaign leader of Tušti Narvai, said:
“In the past year alone, citizens have written nearly 27,000 letters to decision-makers to demand an end to the brutal confinement and killing of animals for fur. Today, Lithuania has made history and put yet another nail in the coffin of the cruel fur industry. This ban is a clear statement to the rest of the world that the needless abuse of animals in the name of decorations will no longer be tolerated”
The fur industry has long been condemned for its inhumane treatment of animals. In recent years, including 2023, numerous investigations by Tušti Narvai into the shocking cage conditions and cruel killing practices on fur farms in the country sparked international outrage.
Last week, the Fur Free Alliance and its member organisations wrote to the Lithuanian president, calling for a firm commitment to shut down fur farms as soon as possible. Joh Vinding, chair of the Fur Free Alliance, says:
“Lithuania’s ban on fur farming is an immense achievement, and we commend their commitment to ending the needless suffering of animals for fur fashion. This victory sends a powerful message that fur farming is not only cruel but also outdated and incompatible with modern ethical standards. We call on the remaining fur-producing countries, as well as the European Union, to follow Lithuania and commit to ending this terrible practice in their own countries too.”
While the momentum of the fur-free campaign sweeps across Europe, Lithuania’s decision marks a historic milestone as the 20th European nation to ban fur farming, joining fellow Baltic nations Latvia and Estonia, as well as other like-minded countries such Norway, Austria, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. British Columbia in Canada has also banned mink farming.
At this moment, moves to end fur farming are underway in Sweden, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. Pressure is also mounting on decision makers at EU-level to ban the fur trade, after the Fur Free Europe Citizens’ Initiative collected more than 1.5 million signatures earlier this year calling for an EU-wide fur ban.
Lithuania becomes 20th country to ban fur farming